Tropical showers to impact Puerto Rico to the Bahamas this week

By Kristina Pydynowski, AccuWeather senior meteorologist
By Courtney Spamer, AccuWeather meteorologist
November 15, 2018, 8:40:39 AM EST


The recent lull in tropical activity across the Atlantic Ocean comes to an end this week.

An area of disturbed weather, known as a tropical wave, is moving through the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico and being monitored to potentially become the next organized system in the Atlantic Basin.

"While this feature does not pose a threat to the United States mainland, it will have some adverse impact on Puerto Rico, the United States Virgin Islands and other island nations in the northern Caribbean in the form of drenching showers and locally gusty thunderstorms," according to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski.

The system is currently in an environment that does not support development, and it is becoming more likely that the system fails to develop into a named tropical entity.

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"Wind shear in place across the southwestern Atlantic will likely be enough to keep it from becoming an organized tropical system," according to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Brett Anderson.

Wind shear is the changing of speed and direction of winds at different layers of the atmosphere. Strong wind shear can shred apart tropical storms and hurricanes or prevent their formation.

Close proximity to Puerto Rico and Hispaniola have proven to be a deterrent as well, with the mountainous terrain of the islands disrupting the organization of the storm.

Still, there is a slight chance the system may strengthen into a tropical or subtropical depression during the middle or latter part of this week. A subtropical depression has both tropical and non-tropical characteristics. If it further intensifies into a named storm, it would be called Patty.

"There is the potential for flash flooding and mudslides as the feature travels along a west-to-northwest path from Puerto Rico to the Dominican Republic, the Turks and Caicos and the southeastern Bahamas into Thursday," Sosnowski said.

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"It is possible this feature focuses thunderstorm activity to the point of bringing localized severe weather in the form of damaging wind gusts," Sosnowski added.

Slightly rougher seas and surf will be expected along the coasts of Puerto Rico and Hispaniola.

Downpours may reach eastern Cuba if the system tracks far enough to the west.

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“Whether or not this feature fully develops, latest indications take it toward the Bahamas by late in the week and then turn it sharply northeastward toward the central Atlantic, away from the United States,” according to Anderson.

The system should get picked up by a storm threatening the eastern United States with snow and ice late in the week.

It is possible the feature passes close to Bermuda to end this week. However, at that time, it may be embedded in a swath of rain associated with a press of cool air.

Download the free AccuWeather app to stay alert of any tropical advisories and hazards.

The Atlantic hurricane season runs through Nov. 30. While the peak of the season has long since passed, a named storm has formed in the Atlantic Basin during November each of the last three seasons.

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